Trevor Bayliss says ball-tampering claims are further example of "Pommie-bashing"

Ashes 4th Test Ball tampering claims 'ridiculous', says England pacer James Anderson

Courtesy Reuters

England's treatment of the new ball came under the spotlight on the fourth day of the fourth Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday, when the umpires had a tense discussion with captain Joe Root about their bounce returns.

Footage on Channel Nine showing Anderson running his thumb-nail along the quarter-seam of the ball during the Australian second innings drew stern comment from a number of Australian ex-players. He said that is fine just do it in front of me which he (Anderson) was.

"I went to the umpires and there was no problem from their point of view", Bayliss told BBC Test Match Special.

Australia will resume on Day five still 61 runs behind England with eight wickets in hand.

That often involved fielders throwing it into the ground so one side became scuffed up.

If that wasn't a grave concern to be anxious about for the Aussies, television cameras captured Anderson nailing the quarter-seam of the ball that runs down the face of the ball.

As for the stills of Anderson with the ball, Bayliss points out that if the bowler had been scratching it in search of reverse swing he mistakenly had his thumb on the shiny side of the ball, rather than the rough side.

Under Law 41, it is an offence "for any player to take any action which changes the condition of the ball". "The umpires don't want it to be too over the top, so a quiet word to both captains soon stops it".

What did the umpires do?

Kumar has said to our guys that you've got no problem cleaning the ball.

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"I know there's a lot of tactics but there's a bit of a line there that you shouldn't cross in picking the seam of the ball and things like that". However, both teams have been warned about the grey-area practice of deliberately throwing the ball on the bounce to the wicket-keeper in the hope of scuffing it up.

However, Bayliss told reporters there was nothing in the claims and that the match officials had confirmed that no action would be taken. The people who are making the story should know better.

"I spoke to Kumar Dharmasena and he said to me that with a bit of rain out there there was some mud on the ball and you are allowed to clean the ball".

England asked for the articles to be removed online and headlines using the emotive phrase of "ball tampering" were toned down, but it still featured prominently on Channel 9's news bulletin at the end of play on day four.

Umpires have cautioned England over the methods they used to quickly attain reverse-swing at the MCG, while Mike Hussey believes Jimmy Anderson could face a "please explain" over footage of him shining the ball.

"He is not scratching it".

Footage on BT Sport showed Joe Root sucking candies before polishing the ball but with the match referee clearing his team of ball tampering; it is a row that should blow over quicker than most of the incidents on this tour so far.

On one occasion, wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow was accused of "headbutting" Australia opener Cameron Bancroft in a Perth bar, something that both men later described as "without malice". It's a bit of Pommie-bashing. At the very least, they are highly unlikely to lose again and appear to have averted the threat of a second successive Ashes whitewash Down Under.

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